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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Prothesis or Ceremony of Preparation of the Oblations of the Qurban (Holy Bread) for Holy Eucharist and the Antidoron before the Divine Liturgy - Lamb Particle

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The first part of the Divine Liturgy is the Prothesis or Ceremony of Preparation of the Oblations. During the Ceremony, the priest/abouna prays and cuts the Qurban based on the nine squares on the large side of the Holy Seal or (IC|XC NIKA Stamp) impression.
The Prothesis is performed by the priest and deacon without the direct participation of the people on the "proskomide" or "table of oblation" or "Altar of Preparation" which stands in the altar area to left of the altar table.

During the Ceremony of Preparation , the priest prays and cuts the Qurban (bread) based on the nine squares on the large side of the Holy Seal or (IC|XC NIKA Stamp) impression.

Large IC|XC NIKA Impression - "The Lamb"

Large IC|XC NIKA Square - "The Lamb" is in the center on the Holy Seal and on the Qurban. "The Lamb" becomes the Body of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ via "Transubstantiation".

First, the priest cuts the square with the IC|XC NIKA impression. The center square with the IC|XC NIKA impression is symbolic of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, the center square is called "The Lamb". "The Lamb" is cut out of the qurban with the "Lance". Next, "The Lamb" is pierced by the "Lance".

Particles for Holy Eucharist for the Clergy are cut from this square.

Ceremony of Preparation of the Oblations or Prothesis

When the priest and deacon come to the Proskomide or Altar of Preparation, they bow three times, while saying, "O God, be gracious to me a sinner and have mercy on me." Then, the priest says, "You have redeemed us from the curse of the Law by your precious blood; by being nailed to the Cross and wounded with the lance, You have become for us the fountain of immortality. Glory to You, our Savior!" "proskomide" or "table of oblation" or "Altar of Preparation". Then the priest gives the blessing: "Blessed is our God at all times, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen."

The priest takes the prosphora in his left hand and the Holy Lance in his right hand. The priest blesses the bread three times over the square with the IC|XC NIKA impression while he says:

"In remembrance of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ." (Three times)

The priest thrusts the Holy Lance into the right side of the square with the IC|XC NIKA impression and makes an incision while he says:

"Like a sheep He was led to the slaughter."

The priest thrusts the Holy Lance into the left side of the square with the IC|XC NIKA impression and makes an incision while he says:

"Like a spotless lamb silent before His shearer, He opens not his mouth."

The priest thrusts the Holy Lance into the top of the square with the IC|XC NIKA impression and makes an incision while he says:

"In His humiliation, His judgment was taken away."

The priest thrusts the Holy Lance into the bottom of the square with the IC|XC NIKA impression and makes an incision while he says:

"And who shall declare His generation?"

The Deacon pays attention to the ceremony and holds the orarion with three fingers of the right hand. The Deacon says at each incision by the priest:

"Let us pray to the Lord."

The priest thrusts the Holy Lance obliquely into the right side of the bread, lifts out "The Lamb" while he says:

"For His life was taken away from the earth."

These words are a quotation from the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 8, verse 33. The Apostle Philip read from the Prophet Isaiah when he instructed the Ethiopian eunuch in the Catholic faith before his baptism.

The priest places "The Lamb" upside down on the Diskos (the side bearing IC|XC NIKA impression faces down) in the center of the Diskos.

The priest immolates "The Lamb" cutting it crosswise from top to bottom and side to side, without cutting it apart and says:

"The Lamb of God ,who takes away the sins of the world, is immolated for the life and salvation of the world."

These words are from the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 29 and chapter 6, verse 51.

The priest turns over "The Lamb", (the side bearing IC|XC NIKA impression faces up) in the center of the Diskos, and pierces it with the lance on the right side, below the letters XC, the abbreviation of the name of Jesusand says:

"One of the soldiers pierced His side with the lance, and at once there came forth blood and water; and he who saw it bore witness, and his witness is true."

These words are from the Gospel of John, chapter 19, verse 34 - 35.

Then, to represent this blood and water from IC|XC's (Jesus Christ's) side, the priest or the deacon pours together wine and a few drops of water into the poterion. Then, the deacon says to the priest:

"Bless this holy union, Father."

And the priest blesses the wine and water in the poterion by making the Sign of the Cross while he says:

"Blessed is the union of your holy things at all times, now and everand unto the ages of ages. Amen."

This luquid becomes the Blood of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ via "Transubstantiation".


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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